[Other religions say: “This world is going to hell. It doesn’t matter. It’s not real, but a shadow, so we wait until we die and escape this. We wait until the next life.”]
What “other religions” are these to be so negatively stereotyped? For Jews, its all about what we actually do in this world, how we act and treat each other. We all share in a primary responsibility of tikkun olam: literally, to heal the world, to leave it a better place than we found it.
I remember once singing in a joint concert bringing together a Jewish choral group and a Christian gospel choir. The pastor leading the gospel singers, in a gesture of inclusion, said it didn’t matter so much whether we were Christians or Jews as long as we believed. Our leader came back in like spirit saying that whether we were Jews or Christians what mattered is the good we do.
There are pious pretenders in every religion and true believers of varied stripes who act in disharmony with their own beliefs. And there are also good people in every garb and under every label who act with generosity and compassion toward others whatever their inner beliefs. For my part, I care far less about what you believe or say you believe than about how you act in the world, how you treat friends and strangers alike.
As Hillel the Elder said, “Do not do to others what is hateful to you. That is the whole of the Law; all else is commentary.”
— Larry Constantine (pen name, Lior Samson)